If you’re located on the UI Moscow campus, you may have noticed a beautiful orange beacon pop up in the Palouse Mall nearby. For some, it can be described as a place where dreams come true, where the colors of eyeshadows are just as flashy as the employee’s smiles. For those whose art is makeup and a face their canvas, the new Ulta has been a godsend.
Scampering down the aisles filled with brands ranging from those commonly found in Rite Aid to those found at New York Fashion Week, I noticed a common theme: unless your skin happens to be porcelain, eggshell, snow, or milky cloud white, there’s not much for you.
Only a handful of brands create foundations and other beauty products in deeper shades. Even if a makeup line does come in deeper shades, it’s often difficult to find them in stores. If you’re a womxn with a dark skintone, it’s nearly impossible to make a quick run to Ulta and get color-matched.
For some womxn, going to a beauty store is as miraculous as finding religion. For womxn of color, makeup stores perpetuate Eurocentric beauty standards and colorism.
There are two things in this world that I hold near to my heart— outside of family and friends. Those two items are makeup and animals. I love stepping into Ulta and admiring the beautiful clean glow, women of all ages trying on new colors, and the store always split between drugstore and high-end products. I don’t wear it often, but I love applying it and feeling more confident in myself after.
As of recently, I have learned the term “cruelty-free makeup.” Prior to researching I had never put too much thought into how makeup was made, the standards used to put it on the market, or where it had come from. I had never thought that some of my favorite brands tested on animals before putting the product onto the market.
I was a little shaken after doing my last blog post, My Week With Makeup. It was really hard to see two pictures of me, side by side, where I looked completely different. When I looked at myself wearing makeup, I felt like I finally measured up to the other girls I see walking around campus, the girls who look flawless. I looked older wearing makeup, and certainly more put together. I have a younger sister who is seventeen, and whenever we meet new people, they assume that she is older. Why? She wears makeup, she actually curls or straightens her hair in the morning, she’s polished and flawless and put together and so people assume she is older.
When I was a little girl, all I wanted was to be a teenager. I pictured my future self as a popular cheerleader, a girl who had an endless stream of boyfriends, a gaggle of giggling girlfriends, and a closet full of fashionable clothes. As I got older, I realized that my fantasy wasn’t really me. When I was young, all I wanted to do was wear makeup, but my mom made a rule that I wasn’t allowed to wear it until I was in seventh grade. Through my sophomore year of high school, I experimented with makeup, but I never really felt comfortable wearing it. I wasn’t good at putting it on, and it just never really felt like me. Now, I’m in my sophomore year of college and I haven’t really worn makeup since my junior prom.
Last year this video in which YouTuber Nikkie puts makeup on half of her face to show the power of makeup became viral. Nikkie originally created this video to show why she loves to wear makeup and why women shouldn’t be shamed for wearing makeup.
I loved this video and still do because anytime I tell someone how much time I spend doing my makeup every day, I always get comments like, “Why would you do that?” or “You look fine without it.” It’s irritating because I wear it for myself and not the opinions of others. I wear makeup because I enjoy applying it, finding my favorite products, and trying new beauty trends.
However, I also know that I feel terrible about myself when I don’t wear makeup and get told that I look tired. I have an immense amount of respect for women who regularly don’t wear makeup. When I go without makeup I’m constantly worried about the criticisms of other people whether they voice them or not. Take For example Alicia Keys is now going without makeup as a rejection of our society’s beauty standards. It’s a beautiful and empowering act of rebellion but with all the backlash she’s received, it’s not welcoming territory to wander into if you’re thinking about not wearing makeup.
I started becoming dependent on makeup around the age of 13 when I had severe acne. I now have a decent amount of scaring that I still prefer to cover up. Given that, I spend an average of 30 minutes every morning applying makeup and I still feel pretty dependent upon it. Realizing my dependence on external beauty, I took it upon myself to challenge my ideas about my own beauty and go one week without makeup.
There are many things our society feels go hand-in-hand with expressing one’s womanhood. One of the most common, whether we like it or not, is cosmetics. From those who enjoy skilled contouring and daily blowouts, to those of us who rely on tinted moisturizer and dry shampoo, many of us have certain beauty products we feel we just can’t go without. In a perfect world, we would all feel confident leaving the house bare-skinned and fresh-faced, but sadly, that’s just not always the reality. Whichever routine you choose each day, the quality and content of your products and how they affect your health should be something to consider. Continue reading “Cosmetic Cautions”→
Last year, a group of friends and I sat together conversing. Somehow, we started discussing makeup. One friend said women should not wear makeup because it alters their appearance and he is against this idea. My other friend became outraged and triggered a large debate within our group. To this day, the group cannot talk about the subject because tension and anger arise between individuals.
But we need to talk about it.
Throughout history, women all over the world have faced societal pressure to look beautiful. Today, the media features advertisements and numerous celebrities endorsing products to “look more attractive. Makeup is one of these products.
Every day, women are bombarded withmessages about makeup and how to wear it in order to look pretty. Television shows and infomercials focus on what makeup women should wear for certain occasions or they observe how a celebrity wore her eyeliner or lipstick at a particular event. I cannot log onto Facebook, watch a program on Netflix or read a magazine without finding an advertisement about makeup. Women often feel pressured into wearing makeup because the media consistently emphasizes it.
Young girls feel pressure to wear makeup because they want to “fit in” in social scenes and at school. According to Bianca London, a writer for theDaily Mail, girls are using makeup at age 11, which is three years younger than a decade ago. When I was in sixth grade, one classmate’s mother told her she needed to wear eyeshadow because she needed it to look pretty. Several of my friends in middle school wore makeup to look like their favorite celebrities. Teachers and other students would tell them they looked pretty, so they would continue wearing it.
One aspect of this matter my friend at UI does not understand is how much pressure women encounter every day to wear makeup. Businesses and media market makeup specifically to women. Men do not face the same advertisements and pressure to wear makeup as women do.
Some celebrities post photos on social media of them in their “natural state” to combat the pressure society puts toward wearing makeup. Many women choose to not wear makeup simply because they do not like it or they do not want to. It is essential to tell women and girls that they look beautiful as they are. Makeup does not define beauty. If certain women feel happier without makeup, they should not wear it.
On the other hand, if a woman knows she is beautiful, but still wants to wear makeup, she has every right to. Some women wear makeup because they like the way it looks, and they feel good about themselves. Others apply it to match their outfit or enhance facial features. As NikkieTutorialssays, women should not hide insecurities by slapping on makeup, but I
think if a woman knows she is beautiful and wants to wear makeup and “alter her appearance,” nothing should stop her.
A common misunderstanding with women wearing makeup is they want to impress men. While in some cases this may be true, most of the time it is not. Women wear makeup for all kinds of reasons. In numerous cultures, makeup is used for ceremonial events. For example, many religious ceremonies and dances in India include the ritual of makeup. Native American women from the Great Plains region of the present-day United States paintedtheir noses, cheeks and foreheads in times of war. Women in several tribes around Africa in ancient times and in 2015 use the time for makeup andhair preparation as a social time to bond with one another. Makeup also protected skin. Ancient Egyptianswould wear oils and creams to protect themselves from the wind and sun.
Personally, I do not always wear makeup. Most days, I prefer to sleep a few more minutes, so I do not apply it. On some occasions, I want to wear eye shadow, use eyeliner to make cat eyes and slip on bright red lipstick because I feel fierce all done up. When going out, I like wearing bright, neon-colored makeup.
The most important point is that a woman needs to feel happy and good about herself. Women should not be pressured into wearing makeup and should not be told to use it because it will make her look pretty. The debate over makeup is a double-edged sword and many people argue their opinions. In my opinion, if a woman wants to wear makeup, great. If she does not want to wear makeup, great. A woman should have the ability to choose.